Although we can now eat it anytime thanks (or no thanks) to refrigerated cross-country shipping, asparagus still strikes me as being a taste of spring. I love to eat asparagus roasted in a bit of olive oil until it is just softened... maybe sprinkled with some freshly cracked black pepper or a bit of grated asiago cheese... or drizzled with a little fresh balsamic vinaigrette.
Yesterday I stopped in at my favorite local garden center to get some generic potting soil. I noticed that amongst the bulbs and seeds they also have asparagus roots, and that got me thinking again about growing my own asparagus.
I love the challenge of figuring out how to incorporate edibles and herbs into my small yard and garden while keeping everything aesthetically pleasing, and for the most part I think that I succeed in this fairly well. Asparagus is proving to be my downfall, though. Between the trenching and the need for lack of competition, it just seems to be more of a "farm" type of vegetable than one that can be worked into a landscaping situation.
I just don't see how it can be grown within my own personal garden constraints... but then, I haven't had the luxury of observing asparagus over a year or two or ten. I'm hoping that someone who is reading this blog has more experience and can give me a few ideas on how to work asparagus into a landscape. Would adding a low, long planter full of colorful herbs in front of the ferns work to hide the ugliness below the fern top, or are there wide and spreading perennials that would help camouflage? Or do you think I'm better off just finding a local farmer's market and giving up on the idea of growing my own? I would love to hear your thoughts...